Laura Neville
Graduate assistant - doctoral fellow

University of Lausanne
Institute of geography and sustainability
Mouline - Géopolis 3502
CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone +41 21 692 3611

Laura Neville

Laura Neville is a PhD candidate and a research assistant at the Institute of geography and sustainability (IGD) at the University of Lausanne.

Her PhD research focuses on the relationships between garbage and urbanisation, in particular the ways garbage becomes entangled to politics of place-making and urban belonging. She conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Cartagena de Indias, a port city on Colombia's Caribbean coast. By exploring the entanglements of garbage with the daily lives of Cartagena's inhabitants, she shows how they engage in practices of mundane transgression through garbage to create a place and negotiate the possibilities of a future city. She argues that the spatialisation of disposability and garbage practices appear as deeply entangled to the colonial histories and distinct forms of violence that continue to produce and shape Cartagena's inhabitants' urban political imagination along the lines of race, class and gender.

She was a visiting PhD student at the Universidad de Cartagena, Colombia (2019) and a visiting PhD student at the Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge, UK on a SNSF Doc.Mobility scholarship (2022).

She holds an MSc in Urbanisation and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a Master's degree in Anthropology and Sociology from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, and a Bachelor's degree in Geography from the University of Lausanne. In 2012-13, she studied as part of her Bachelor's degree, at the Universidad de Chile, in Santiago.

Her Master's research both at the LSE and the ULB dealt with the subject of housing policies in Latin American urban contexts. At LSE, she explored the topic of access to housing for Latin American migrant populations and conducted fieldwork in Santiago de Chile's central neighbourhoods. At the ULB, she developed a comparative approach of three public housing programmes in Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil. She later continued exploring the topic of housing for migrant populations in Latin American cities, by taking part in a research project at the Universidad de Chile on the mining city of Antofagasta in northern Chile. The project examined national and international migrant workers' access to self-built housing.

In 2022, she was granted an SNSF Agora grant that aims to foster encounters between science and society (with Dr. Silke Oldenburg, University of Basel; 2022-2023). Under the title "Urban Waterworlds: Dialogues on Urban Flooding, Climate Justice and the Future of Water in the City" this communication project explores the relationship between urban water and futurity by dialoguing on practices and imaginations of urban waterworlds with and amongst urban youth in Switzerland (Basel and Lausanne) and Colombia (Cartagena de Indias).